Now that our kids have all reached adulthood, my husband and I finally took our first trip to Europe. Before we became parents, he used to say, “We could go to Europe, or we could have kids.” The trip was definitely worth waiting for.
In our tour of Spain and Portugal, we’ve been experiencing a laid-back culture, observing amazing architecture, and enjoying time together as a couple. Although we encounter a language barrier among many of the locals, we’ve found some things convey universally: laughter and smiles.
People are people at heart, no matter their language, culture, or beliefs. They find humor in their lives that provokes belly laughs. The sight of infants and children exploring their surroundings brings smiles to otherwise somber faces. The sound of music leads to foot-tapping and joviality.
Regardless of their culture, people bundle up in cold temperatures and shed outer layers of clothing in warmer ones. They eat and sleep. They go from day to day, often facing many of the same obstacles. It’s how they react to and deal with those obstacles that can be different — even if they speak the same language.
Yes, despite our differences, we’re actually very similar. That’s not to say we’re all the same. Definitely not. It’s our differences that make us unique and make life more exciting and enjoyable. But our similarities reveal the goodness of humanity and remind us we’re all the same race. Maybe if we concentrate more on those likenesses, our seeming contrasts will fade. After all, we’re all people at heart.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"